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The Supreme Court Court Monday issued notice to the governments of Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on a plea seeking contempt proceedings against them for not following its order to prevent violence perpetrated in the name of protecting the cow.
Considering a plea by Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, a bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked the three states to file their replies by April 3. The bench said it would hear the contempt plea along with the main writ petition filed by Gandhi earlier.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising, who appeared for Gandhi, contended that violent incidents were still being witnessed in various parts of these states despite the court’s order last September to take adequate security measures.
On September 6, 2017, the apex court had asked the states to appoint senior police officers as nodal officers in every district within a week to tackle the issue. The Bench had also directed chief secretaries and DGPs to file status reports on action taken to prevent such cases. Besides, the court directed these states to ensure patrolling of highways after it was pointed out that such incidents mostly targetted vehicles transporting cattle or meat.
The top court had also asked the Centre to respond to the submission that it could issue directions under Article 256 (obligation of states and Union) of the Constitution to all state governments on issues related to law and order. The Centre told the apex court that it does not approve of any incident of people taking the law in their hands.